Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

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Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Five_X on Wed 17 Feb 2010 - 3:51

Here's the first chapter of my novel that I've been working on for some time. This is actually the beginning of a rewrite, as I wrote the original draft up a couple years ago. There is much more of this story written down by hand, but I haven't gotten around to typing that out yet. So there may be delays in postings, unfortunately. Anyways, let the novel begin!





Dead Earth


CHAPTER I



It was a hot, sunny, yet somewhat cloudy day, unlike the unusually rainy days preceding it. It was 2009, and many citizens of Chilliwack and the towns neighbouring it were preparing for the flood that was forecasted.


All along the city streets were piles upon piles of boxes, filled with the many worldly possessions of the townsfolk. Some, however, were not busy packing up their homes. Two of these people, Edward DeLuce and Ralph Schmidt, were 'helping' others find shelter in the local high school, in conjunction with the local air cadet squadron, of which they were former members. At twently and nineteen years old respectively, they had long graduated from both school and Air Cadets.


These two friends were not especially smart, popular, cool, or good looking, nor were they average in the common sense of the word. Unlike some, they preferred to spend their time playing videogames, reading books, and watching movies and anime. Simply put, they were geeks. They did, however, have a small yet close circle of friends who often did the aforementioned activities together.


Ralph in particular was quite lazy. His inactivity, which was only prevented by trips to the mall with the others in his group, caused him to become quite unfit, and the butt of many jokes at his expense from his companions, though all were done for just that, humour, and weren't insults in the least. He had short light brown hair, a momento of sorts form his time in Air Cadets, and eyes of the same colour. As always, he wore a bored, indifferent look on his face, though he had a warmer smile reserved for more comedic times. Due to his rather poor vision, he wore contact lenses, though his vision, as well as his health, had markedly improved in the past months. He had no friends other than those few closest to him, as he was quite nervous in social situations, and often spoke with a stammering "Er... umm..." preceding his sentences. His greyish sweatpants were slightly stained in spots, somewhat indicitave of his sloppy nature.


Next to him, Edward, preferring to be called Ed, as he considered 'Edward' to be too formal, was slightly more socially adept. Though it was not obvious at first sight, he had a girlfriend, Jessi, that he cared greatly for. Quite the opposite of Ralph, Ed tended to get frustrated more often than nervous, and was much more reckless, even imparting this trait to Ralph at times. Despite the fact that his speaking skills weren't the best, he stuck to his opinions and defended them until the person disagreeing with him gave up or was convinced to think the same way as Ed. Most notably, he had dark blue eyes and an easygoing, yet sometimes coldly serious expression in addition to medium length black hair that he kept trimmed and neat. Equally prim were his clothes, a black t-shirt with the bloody smiley face logo of the graphic novel Watchmen on the front, and dark blue, well cared for jeans.


The pair stood lazily in front of the main doors to the school, the heat causing beads of sweat to trickle down their faces. It was already two days into the evacuation, and the tides of people seeking refuge grew steadily smaller, until only a few arrived each hour. Much to their surprise, one of these people happened to be a good friend of theirs, Malcolm Hillshire.


Malcolm, called by the shortened form of his name, 'Mal', was the oldest of his friends, and easily the most socially active. Wearing his favourite red and black Red Hot Chili Peppers long sleeved shirt, he wasn't exactly dressed for the heat. His very dark brown hair, which was longer than Ralph and Ed's, didn't help either. He was more fit than both Ralph and Ed, and attended the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island, several hundred kilometers to the west of Chilliwack. This summer he had decided to visit his hometown and his comrades, instead of his usual trips to the United States. Unlike the others, he had a few friends back in Victoria, though didn't hold them in as high a regard as Ralph and Ed.


“Hey, guys, what's up? Wanna go to the cafeteria, and get some lunch?” he asked casually.


“Sorry, Mal.” Ed responded. “We have to stay here 'til three o'clock. Now, head up to room 205. That's where our stuff is. Oh, and you'll probably find Jessi up there, too. If not, she's probably eating lunch.”


Malcolm wanted to protest, but a bored look and a frown from Ralph made him stomp past the two through the clear glass double doors into the school.


Ralph checked his watch. It was still noon, alright. Ed started tapping his feet in boredom, like usual. Ralph's navy blue t-shirt and grey jogging pants weren't quite the best clothing for the weather, and only his short brown hair kept him cool.


Ed sighed, as he believed the next few hours would feel like days. Luckily for him, the constant wafting smell of the barbecue stopped at around one o'clock, and his mind was taken off of food for a while. At two o'clock, the crowds, numbering over three hundred, still remained in the lobby area and the cafeteria, as there was nowhere else to go.


Eventually, the minute hand reached the top of Ralph's watch, and the hour hand was hovering directly over the three. They were done their shift, finally. A great weight was lifted off of their unfit shoulders, and they hastily walked inside the school. The next group of door watchers, these two actual air cadets in fancy blue, yet dreadfully hot, uniforms took over for them. They appeared much more diligent than Ed and Ralph, for sure.


They made a direct course for the cafeteria, which was still selling food. The two were looking to get at the last bits of ice cream, and they were sure to not let anything get in their way. When they fully realized that several hundred people were standing between them and the food, they sighed and got ready to charge.


As they rushed through the crowd, people barely managed to step aside for the two young men barreling through. Some were even knocked straight to the ground. Ralph, being 190 pounds of mostly fat, was a force to be reckoned with when he ran at someone. In the end, though, both of them made it to the cafeteria in only a few seconds, managing to get the last of the scrumptious, cool ice cream.


Ralph put a large spoonful of vanilla ice cream into his mouth, tasting sweet, sweet victory. A triumphant look was on his face, and Ed laughed at the sight, almost making himself choke on his own chocolate sundae.


“Hey, Ed, where is your girlfriend? Weren't you talking with her earlier?” Ralph asked, speaking, of course, about Ed's girlfriend Jessi Hillshire.


“Uh, I think she's upstairs. She probably went to room 205, now that I think about it. I told Mal to look for her, after all, and they probably made there way to that place. They are siblings, y'know.” Ed replied verbosely, food still in his mouth.


Ralph shrugged and returned to eating his ice cold dessert. When he looked up from his meal a few seconds later, he saw a tall, lanky man walking quickly into the school office, right inside the lobby. Only a moment later, the intercom buzzed on.


“May we please have your attention. This is an important announcement.” the voice from the intercom, possibly that of the tall man, stated. “You must all return to your assigned rooms. We have news that the flood has begun.”


Once again this day, Ralph and Ed sighed, and started herding people to their appointed destinations. Once most were in the right places, they themselves headed up to room 205, where they believed they would find Jessi and Malcolm.


The room was quite bare, save for the various posters on the walls and the teacher's desk in the corners, as all the student desks had been moved elsewhere. As expected, Malcolm and Jessi were standing by the window at the back of the rectangular room, with all of the blinds moved out of the way.


Jessi was smiling at the green, vibrant scenery outside. She liked to take Ed to parks and the like, and enjoyed climbing and other physical activities, though held a disdain for team sports. She had shoulder-legth blonde hair, but didn't quite fit the entire blonde archetype, as she had light green eyes and was not ditzy at all. As usual, she wore her long cream coloured coat, underneath which was a dark green t-shirt and light blue jeans. The time that she wasn't spending out with her friends or at home with Ed was used up practicing martial arts, ninjutsu to be precise, as well as going down to the local firing range and practicing target shooting, two things she was remarkably skilled at. In fact, she could be considered a gun nut, though she only owned one firearm, an old shotgun. Suffice to say, Jessi was quite simply the most physically active member of the small group, even more so than her brother Malcolm.


Ralph had asked that the room be set aside specifically for them, and given his ties with the air cadets, he was able to get such a request fulfilled, not to mention the fact that there was more than enough space left for them in the school. The friends' bags, full of food, blankets, portable game machines, and other amenities were in the corner of the classroom, and were quickly unpacked.


"Jessi, why are you so happy? It's probably going to flood. Our house might get completely drenched. Water is wet, in case you had forgotten." Ed remarked, watching Jessi smile contemplatively at the scenery.


"Well, you don't know if it's really going to flood. Plus, we- er, I, really, sandbagged the house,and we put all water sensitive stuff up on the counters and tables so that they wouldn't get damaged. Nothing should be able to get in, unless some looter is very, very stubborn." the girl replied as she moved away from the wide window.


Malcolm laughed. "I guess it sucks to be you guys. If I had known it was going to flood here, I probably would've just stayed home. I never liked swimming, anyway."


Jessi laughed back. "Well, I know that my big brother would come here anyway, since he doesn't have any other real friends. You don't even have a girlfriend! Just a few more things that I'm better at than you, right?" she retorted venomously.


Mal was flustered. "I'll have you know that I did have a girlfriend. Several. They all broke up with me a bit, though. Yeah, uh, just a little bit. Heh."


Ed looked over at the bantering siblings, raisng an eyebrow. "'A bit', eh, Mal? That doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. Well, we'll see what happens in the future. You just need to find someone nice who complements you as a person, like Jessi to me."


"Yeah, yeah. Whatever. I'll manage, really." Mal said, indicating the end of the conversation.


Ralph shook his head and pulled a ripe red apple out his backpack. He really began to like those lately, his friends noted. They did question the notion of keeping fruit dry and warm in a poorly sealed container, though.


Over the next few hours, the friends kept themselves busy with talk, video games, and later at night, a movie. They spent a few minutes arguing over which film in particular to play.


“Well, we haven't watched Forrest Gump in a while, guys” Ralph added to the ongoing conversation.


“No, that's far too long of a movie. Ed and Jessi just ruled out Lord of the Rings for the same reason.” Malcolm told him disappointedly.


“How about we watch some anime?” Ed asked, but his suggestion was overruled for the same reason as Ralph's.


Malcolm had another idea. “How about we watch zombie movie?” It was the perfect idea. The four were all fans of zombie related media, and liked to speculate on what it would be like to experience a zombie apocalypse. Needless to say, they were heavily prepared for such an event, after all their years of training.


Jessi, Ed and Ralph agreed wholeheartedly, and Ralph rifled through his bag. He soon pulled out one certain movie where the characters barricade themselves in a shopping mall. Once it was in the DVD player, they turned off the lights and were ready to watch.


The movie didn't take too long to watch, and they were quite exhausted at the end. It had been a long day. They all readied their sleeping equipment, and slept well into the next day.


At that time, about ten in the morning, Ralph was the first person awake. He yawned a deep, long yawn, and stretched before standing up and walking groggily over to the window. That particular opening allowed a wide view of the school parking lot, which was attached to a long road that led downtown in one direction, and out to rural farmland in the other.


The flood had indeed happened, and luckily the entrances to the school had been barricaded with sand bags to prevent water from leaking in. A very smart move, as it had turned out. The water level was just above knee-height, and was not receding. In addition, a torrential downpour continued, a storm that most likely had begun late last night. Oh, well. They had no reason to go outside, anyway.


Ralph also noticed a rather large gathering of people outside. He estimated about eighty of them, an exceptional amount.. He scratched his poorly shaven chin, and noticed Malcolm standing right beside him.


“Probably just a bunch of hobos that didn't make it in time.” Mal commented, and the two snickered a bit before waking Ed and Jessi.


When they were all fully up and ready, they headed downstairs to the cafeteria for breakfast. When they reached the bottom of the stairs, a small group f five older men were standing around the the main entrance, looking out at the parking lot intently.


Jessi was the first to wonder what was going on. “Why are you guys out here? Shouldn't you be eating breakfast or something?”


One of the men looked back at her, an almost frighteningly stern look on his wrinkled face. “There are... things out there. I sent two guys to check 'em out, and they haven't come back. And those things-” he pointed out the doorway, at one of the 'hobos' that was close to the school “-are still there, all slack-jawed and pale faced. What the hell do they want?”


Remembering the movie they watched last night, the four friends looked at each other, then laughed. The man's description matched that of a zombie from the movies. They had always wondered what it would be like to be in a zombie apocalypse, but never thought it possible. Was this what they thought it was? That they dreaded and hoped, all at once.

------------------------------



Yeah, the ending is a bit odd. It's meant to be obvious that yes, there are indeed zombies in this novel. They aren't the focus of the piece, of course, but they're still there and they're still important. Make sure to tell me what you liked and disliked about it, things that could be changed, thoughts on characters/settings/etc. When this gets published, I'll be sure to put Cyborg Central in the "Dedicated To" section, among others.

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"The scoreboard looks like baseball, the start looks like bowling, and the rest looks like cleaning the kitchen floors." - rustyspring on curling

"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by hydra282 on Wed 17 Feb 2010 - 14:04

It was alright. I'm not a fan of zombies, but good luck with this. Good
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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Piero on Wed 17 Feb 2010 - 23:26

Well, you're pretty good at managing to work descriptions into things, at least at the beginning (the later parts are a little weaker in that regard). I'm not sure establishing your characters as being big fans of zombie apocalypse scenarios and prepared for such an event was a good idea though. Then again, I tend to be extremely -perhaps overly- sensitive to anything that reflects the author's interests in fanfic. I personally try to avoid making my fandoms for different hobbies and such obvious, though your mileage may vary. A lot of readers probably wouldn't be bothered by that.

I do however think the following could use a bit of rewriting though. Remember, show, don't tell:

Malcolm had another idea. “How about we watch zombie movie?” It was the perfect idea. The four were all fans of zombie related media, and liked to speculate on what it would be like to experience a zombie apocalypse. Needless to say, they were heavily prepared for such an event, after all their years of training.

Edit: Okay, since you were noting this was meant as a deconstruction, that changes things as far as content is concerned. Laughing And your writing style is generally good.

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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Jacen Starslayer on Wed 17 Feb 2010 - 23:40

Not bad. The scene about the man describing the hobos reminded me of a scene from the manga High School of the dead.

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"I am the sword of justice
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This is my, Infinite Sword Dance"
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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Five_X on Thu 18 Feb 2010 - 0:02

Thanks for the replies, everybody. I'll try to keep in mind some of the stuff you've mentioned.

Now, I don't really like this chapter. I don't like it because there's hardly anything more I can add to it to make it better without significantly changing the flow of the narrative. But oh well, it's just a chapter that has to be dealt with. It's not like I can skip these events and get to less static situations. Another forewarning: last time I looked at it, Chapter 3 wasn't in good shape. That means that it will either be of relatively low quality, or that it will take extra time to get poted. Hopefully the latter. Anyways, let chapter 2 begin!

CHAPTER II


Jessi, looking around at her friends, decided to break the silence.


“I say we go out there and take a look at these things. Maybe they really are zombies.” she suggested, grinning mischievously.


Her older brother Malcolm sighed and sat down on the steps of the lobby staircase beside him. “That's not the best idea. If they are zombies, well, we don't have any way to kill them.” he explained, “And, we'd have to move some of the sandbags to open the doors, and that'd let floodwater in the school. So I'm against your idea.”


Jessi frowned and turned to Ralph and Ed, looking at them pleadingly. Ralph, a rather unfit and indecisive nineteen year old, simply took his hands out of his sweatpants pockets, shrugged, and bit down on an apple he had taken with him.


“Everyone turned to look at Ed. He tapped his feet nervously for a while, as his opinion would determine whether they stayed inside or went out. Eventually he grumbled and gave in, walking over to Jessi. Malcolm stared at them, his expression one of frustrated annoyance.


“Pah!” he spat. You can go out there if you really want, then. Just be careful, you guys. The water's pretty deep, and it ought to be nasty to have to slog through.”


Jessi clapped her hands together happily, and grabbed Ed tightly by his hand, dragging him upstairs. Ralph scratched his short brown hair and followed slowly after them. Deciding he could be of at least some help, Malcolm reluctantly went up the stairs as well.


Upstairs, Jessi had opened up a small, dark storage closet and was rummaging around as Ed held a flashlight in one hand and rubbed his hands with the other. Looking around the tight space, he focused the light and his attention on a long, slender piece of dark grey steel with a sharp curve at one end. A crowbar.


Ralph and Malcolm arrived together several minutes later, both with coiled up ropes in their arms. Ed turned to them and yawned, stretching his arm out toward the two and showing them the crowbar as he did so. Jessi hastily took the tool from his hand and put it in a bag, along with a hammer and a fire axe.


“Ah, so you've caught onto her plan, then? Yeah, we're going to try to get outside by way of the window. I guess you and Mal can hold the rope while Jessi and I climb down.” Ed said to Ralph, then added, “Well, you alone could be the anchor with your weight.”


16.


Ralph shrugged off the fat joke. In his baggy sweatpants and hoodie, and weighing 180 pounds, he wasn't really in the best shape for climbing or walking through water. He ambled to the end of the hallway, where a large window overlooked the backyards of several small houses.


Mal and Ed followed him, and Jessi soon joined them, with a bag of various tools slung over her shoulder. She took a hammer out of the bag and swung it overzealously at the window, shattering it and sending many miniscule pieces of glass all over the pavement below.


“Er... um... that might not have been the best idea, Jessi. We'll kinda be fined if anyone learns that we were involved in breaking this window, you know.” Ralph said worriedly.


Ed laughed and threw one end of the rope out the newly broken window, while Jessi smashed off the little bits of glass still attached to the frame. Malcolm took the part of the rope that was still in the school from Ed, handing the very end to Ralph.


Ed courteously let Jessi go down first, as she was a much more experienced climber. Once she had reached the bottom and moved out of the way, Ed followed suit, clambering down and signaling for Malcolm and Ralph to drop the bag of tools.


When they did, Jessi managed to catch it with both arms, almost knocking her backwards into the muddy water, which was just over knee deep in some spots. Ed gave a thumbs up to his two friends looking down from inside the school. The rope was pulled up, and Jessi and Ed were ready to investigate the strange slack-jawed, pale faced people in the parking lot.


Jessi passed the crowbar over to Ed, deciding to take the fire axe for herself. The two stuck to the white walls of the school, staying completely silent. They even crouched down into the uncomfortably cold water to keep a lower profile, drenching themselves heavily in the process. Once they had moved past the two wooden portables directly beside the school, the parking lot came into view.


The ever bright morning sunlight reflected off the water, shining into their eyes, Numerous figures, all standing in a slouched posture, were present throughout the area. On their faces were empty, emotionless expressions, and instead of having the thoughtful eyes of a human or the feral eyes of a beat, the things had dull grey, pupilless orbs, as they could not be considered “eyes” in the normal sense.


But when Jessi stepped forward, making loud splashes and ripples in the direction of the creatures, they turned their pale, stiff bodies toward her. Their eyes unblinking, their movement mechanical. Ed readied his crowbar and stepped carefully ahead, feeling for obstacles underwater with his feet. A horrid stench permeated the air around, making him gag.


Jessi walked shoulder-to-shoulder with him, her axe gripped tightly with one hand, the other holding Ed's free hand, to help him if he fell.


Feeling a solid, movable lump with his foot, Ed bent down to pick it up. It was a large rock the size of his hand. He put the crowbar through one of the belt loops of his jeans, the hooked end preventing it from falling into the water.
17.


Standing back up, he got into a pitching position, and heaved the stone at one of the creatures. It took a blow to the side of the arm, knocking it slightly off balance. That attracted its attention, and it let out a strange, guttural moan.


Several other creatures nearby began shambling toward Ed and Jessi, their arms hanging low at their sides. When they within ten feet of the pair, the raised their arms, and shuffled slightly faster. A few feet later, Jessi stood up and readied her axe, prepared to swing. The beast nearest to her tried to lunge and grab her, but she sidestepped and swung her axe into the back of the thing's head. It toppled to the ground when she removed her weapon from its skull, blood pouring slowly out of the fatal wound.


Ed carefully ran out of the group that was slowly encircling him and Jessi as two lunged for him, their mouths wide open. He had no doubts now.


These were zombies.


---------------------------------



Dun dun dunnnn! Zombies, what a foregone conclusion! I hope you all liked this chapter, for what it's worth. Also, make sure you keep an eye out for the pop culture references. They are quite interesting if you notice them. I'll just say this: two of the characters are walking pop culture references, in their own ways. As per the usual, read and review, and give your opinion and critiques, etc.

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"The scoreboard looks like baseball, the start looks like bowling, and the rest looks like cleaning the kitchen floors." - rustyspring on curling

"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by hydra282 on Thu 18 Feb 2010 - 13:29

I think you should put a "definitely" in the last line.
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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Five_X on Thu 18 Feb 2010 - 22:26

Myeh. Putting "definitely" in there might make it seem more like the ending was meant to be obvious, though I feel it may come off as being a little sarcastic, which it isn't supposed to be. It's just supposed to be a simple statement.

The third chapter is ready. I think I ended up on the "Improved from the original" side of the spectrum with this one, as it's genuinely better than what it used to be. I previously considered it one of the worst chapters I've written for the novel, besides some of the chapters for the original version of the novel. This chapter in particular leads directly into the next, which is a flashback chapter, as made obvious by the end of this one. It delves more into what the characters were like well before the crap hit the fan. Hopefully you like both. Anyways, let chapter 3 begin!

CHAPTER III




Ed was quickly shaken out of the shock of realization by Jessi, who had a hint of cautious excitement in her eyes; quite usual for the normally reckless girl. The two made no effort to stay quiet, as the zombies were aware of them and were following them, despite their sluggish gait.


Jessi and Ed continued to clumsily run through the deep, murky water, coming close to tumbling down to the ground several times. When they arrived at the base of the window they had climbed down through, the rope had already been lowered and Malcolm and Ralph were waiting to hoist them back up.


Ed let Jessi climb up first, and she made it halfway up the rope before looking down to see that Ed had indeed gotten on the rope as well. They were pulled up into the school as the zombies shambled about helplessly below them, looking up at their escaping meals and groaning eerily.


Once they were all together in the school, Ed shivered. The fact that zombies, supposedly fictional creatures, were right outside the building was a shocking revelation. And, of course, he had to tell Malcolm and Ralph.


“Those things out there are zombies.” he stated simply.


Malcolm and Ralph both stared at him blankly. “Zombies? Are you sure?” Malcolm asked calmly, not frightened in the least about this turn of events.


“If those aren't zombies, then what do you call them?” Ed retorted, surprised that they didn't believe him. The evidence so far pointed only to one conclusion, after all.


“Infectious cannibals, maybe?” Ralph joked, and casually high-fived Malcolm who was beside him. Both of them laughed, but Jessi and Ed frowned in unison.


Jessi was rather annoyed, so she stepped within a foot away from Malcolm and Ralph, staring them in the eyes. They only chuckled, as her attempt at seriousness was comical at best. “Look guys. He's not lying. Can't you hear them out there? Not many things other than zombies sound like that, or act like that. They really are zombies. Now, we have to get out of here. Eventually word will spread about this crazy flesh-eating monster situation, and then there'll be nothing we can do. Just face reality. This is, as far as we know, the end of the world as we know it.” After that, she added with a grin, “And I feel fine!”


Ralph shrugged, as usual, and Malcolm didn't try to put up any resistance against his sister. Despite her being three years his junior, she was far more skilled and tough. She most likely wouldn't physically force him, but there was still the possibility. And that possibility was paved with bruises. Very many bruises.


Relived that his friends had apparently been convinced, Ed led them back to room 205 to formulate an escape plan, In the room, he took a piece of large, white poster paper from the teacher's supplies and drew an outline of Chilliwack. After that rough sketch was done, he made a rather accurate map of the school, then began his explanation, drawing out their route in bright red marker and some notes in pen at the same time, regarding areas they should stop at to restock. In general, the idea was to gather a sizable amount of equipment and food while also getting out of the city that was soon to be infested with the undead. From there, they planned to make their way along the freeway that connected Chilliwack with the coast and the city of Vancouver to the west. There they could somehow use a boat and escape the mainland. The state of areas outside Chilliwack was unknown, so some changes were expected to occur along the way.


“Now, when it comes to simply getting out of the school, we first need to find a new window, one that doesn't have zombies droning around on the ground below it. We also have to be discreet in going through this window, because if other people, living of course, saw us escaping, they might get just a little suspicious. Or they'd panic, or something that sheeple usually do. That's the last thing we want, because we can't handle mass hysteria, and they can't handle hordes of zombies. We, however, can. Assuming that doesn't happen, we will use the rope to get out again. Jessi will go last, because she's used to jumping from heights. Someone like me would probably break his legs, and we don't want that. Once outside, we'll take the shortest route out o-”


Jessi interrupted him, “But first, we'll stop and Ed and I's house. It'll be a good idea to take along our useful stuff, as well as my shotgun.”


Ed nodded, and finished his explanation. “Yeah, after getting stuff from my house, we'll get out of Chilliwack. We'll proceed as planned from then on. No detours, understand?”


They all agreed on the plan, and collected their respective backpacks. The escape hole of choice was the window in the same room they were in that overlooked the parking lot. The number of walking corpses in the wide-open space had increased to slightly less than two hundred that were fortunately very spread out. The only other enjoyable aspect of the trials they were about to face was the fact that the rainy, wet weather of the previous weeks had been replaced by a cloudy, yet mostly dry, day.


Malcolm smashed the glass pane this time, making sure that the shattering wasn't very loud. Despite his best efforts, the glass refused to give up its identity as glass and crashed gloriously on the pavement. They ignored that problem and tied one end of the forty foot rope to the heavy teacher's desk, which was fastened reliably to the floor. Given that the knot on the rope was tied by Jessi, it was likely just as reliable, or so they hoped. Ed climbed down first, then Mal, Ralph, and finally Jessi, who untied and coiled the rope back up and jumped out the ex-window, trying to land as coolly as possible. At ground level, they were all assaulted by the sudden, significant stench of the rotting corpses that roamed the area before them. Ralph and Malcolm, unused to the smell, plugged their noses tightly.


Abandoning any futile form of stealth or strategy, the group simply rushed as fast as possible through the flooded parking lot to the road in front of the school. This, of course, garnered them less than friendly attention from the undead masses, who moved only slightly slower than the people they were chasing, who waded through the water without any grace. The entire area was too heavily flooded to drive or ride a bike through, so much to their dismay they were forced to travel by foot.


When they reached the eerily empty road, they headed left on the sidewalk, not looking back. Their first sign of the zombies falling behind was the gradual lightening of the previously horrid reek, to a level where nausea wasn't a constant companion. By the time they had ran less than 200 metres from the school, all of them save Jessi were out of breath and panting heavily, especially Ralph. The stress and the weight of their baggage only added to their fatigue. But still, they persevered, as the thought of being torn apart and devoured alive, piece by piece, screaming in pain and horrendous agony as the life was ripped from them in numerous infectious bites by ravening zombies was an excellent motivator, even though it was also horribly sickening.


To make matters worse, their clothes were almost completely drenched in muddy waters, Ed and Jessi especially so. They were icy cold and as wet as fish but kept going, albeit at a slow pace. Ralph, checking behind the group, found that the unshakable, non-complaining zombies were still in shambling pursuit.


“Just a kilometer more to my house!” Ed announced a few minutes later, looking down at his cumbersome map. He thought for a moment, then remembered that his house was indeed secured from water leaking in. At that same time, he noticed something odd.


It was very, very quiet.


Normally, in a flood or other disaster, one would expect crowds of people flocking to and fro, panicking like they do on the news and in movies. But this was different. There were no noises, no sirens, no people screaming. There weren't even any journalists or reporters in the area. While some of that could be dismissed as delays due to the disaster and because the flood had only recently occurred, the lack of mass hysteria and people in general was definitely more than a coincidence.


'Impossible,' Ed thought. 'If most people got to shelters or left the city, then emergency services would still arrive, even if people were riding out the disaster smoothly. In this kind of situation, aid is supposed to arrive within 72 hours. Did towns other than Chilliwack get hit harder, or has this problem been going on for longer? And most of all, how did people become zombies in the first place? It's likely some sort of virus similar to rabies or mad cow disease, but the real question is how the people acquired it. This is something to be pondered...”


Those were very pertinent questions. How indeed did the undead come to roam about the city? The virus theory was the most probable, as radiation from space and magic were nonsensical explanations, but in a situation like this, almost anything could be possible.


Ed breathed in, and found that the stench of rotten flesh was gone. Another glance back down the road revealed that the zombies had ended their already mostly futile chase. There were a few others nearby, but it appeared that they didn't notice the four humans walking through the water near them. Where had they come from? The question came up again.


'I don't know' was the only answer Ed could come up with for himself.


A sharp tug on his arm brought him back to reality. Jessi was trying to get his attention. Ed looked at her, and came to realize that they were standing on the sidewalk in front of their house, which was just as they had left it, only with a layer of water all around it like a shallow, endless moat.


Jessi stepped over the sandbags that blocked water form getting onto the patio and into the house through the front door, and roughly checked her backpack for her house key. It was easily found, and she soon unlocked the plain white door to an ordinary, rather messy, two bedroom house.


The four friends took off their shoes so they wouldn't get the house wet and dirty, and found that the dampness of their socks made them moldy and exude a potent stench. Their feet were pale and wrinkled from exposure to water, and their socks made watery squishing sounds when they picked them up to be heated up in the dryer. Ralph, who was utterly exhausted and just wanted to fall asleep right then and there, groaned when he was told that he could not relax on the couch, and arched his eyebrows to give himself a pleading, pitiable expression. He still wasn't allowed to sit down.


Jessi casually walked into the living room, and began examining the shelves and table closely, with an expression of curiosity, then frustrated anger on her face. After kneeling down to look under the coffee table in between a comfy green couch and large LCD television, she stood up quickly, scowling.


“Where. Is. My. Shotgun!?” If it's been stolen...”


Just then, Ed walked into the room, his feet thumping heavily on the hardwood floor. He saw an angry Jessi frantically looking in every crevice of the room, grumbling and stomping, and walked up to confront her. With a smile, he presented to her a large, brown stuffed bear half the size of the girl.


She looked over, and noticed the old gift in his arms. She immediately stopped her search for her gun, and held the bear and Ed in a warm embrace. She found that it still smelled and felt like it did three years before, when Ed gave it to her soon after their first date, and was recalled to a more peaceful time.

--------------------------------------




What's to come in the next couple of chapters: enjoy as the characters wait for Mal at a bus station! Musical shout outs! Foreshadowing! Vaguely important pop culture references! More info on Jessi's shotgun, and a look at how much she really likes her firearms! AND, a new character, all coming soon for the faithful readers!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------



"The scoreboard looks like baseball, the start looks like bowling, and the rest looks like cleaning the kitchen floors." - rustyspring on curling

"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Five_X on Fri 19 Feb 2010 - 19:27

Is anyone actually reading this? It seems that about two or so people are, but I'd like for more to actually read it and tell me their opinions.

Well, I guess I'll have to get to the parts where stuff actually happens. I hope that adding action isn't the only way to motivate you to read this...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------



"The scoreboard looks like baseball, the start looks like bowling, and the rest looks like cleaning the kitchen floors." - rustyspring on curling

"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Five_X

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Forum Posts : 695

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Fan of : Rico!

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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by emperor on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 4:05

People will read your fanfic more often if you post this at fanfiction.net.



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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 14:26

Now that I've finally wrapped up & posted my latest story I'll have some time to read this...
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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Five_X on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 20:12

@emperor wrote:People will read your fanfic more often if you post this at fanfiction.net.



...fanfiction? This isn't a fanfiction. Razz

Plus, I already did put it up at FICTIONpress.net, and it has one review. Success!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------



"The scoreboard looks like baseball, the start looks like bowling, and the rest looks like cleaning the kitchen floors." - rustyspring on curling

"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Five_X

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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 24 Feb 2010 - 1:36

I felt this started off kind of slow, but it's really picking up some steam by the 3rd chapter. I like the fact that your protaginists' assumptions & impression of the world are all based on movies and pop culture...it's a funny way of showing how sheltered they are.

The character exposition in chapter one was kind of hasty I thought...you might consider drawing that out a bit and allowing the audience to discover some of it for themselves.

Nothing should be able to get in, unless some looter is very, very stubborn." the girl replied
Some foreshadowing here...

Keep at it...we are reading!
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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Five_X on Wed 24 Feb 2010 - 1:53

Oh trust me. You haven't seen much of the characters yet!
But drawing out the character description mught be a good idea, perhaps. I'll see how it can be changed.


Anyways, here's chapters 4 and 5, a double feature today.


Chapter IV




It was a cold, cloudy, yet somewhat sunny day, much like others before it that October. It was 2006, and many teenagers of Chilliwack and the towns neighbouring it had barely become used to school, despite being back from summer vacation for over a month.


Three friends sat in a bus depot, waiting eagerly for the arrival of the fourth member of their group. The clock on the plain, blue and white wall struck 9:00, and let out a little 'ding'.


The first, a seventeen year old in a plain black t-shirt and dark blue jeans checked his watch, tapping his feet in frustration. He sighed, bored of waiting hours for his friend to arrive, and took his grey baseball cap off, revealing medium length, well kept black hair. Simply tired of sitting and doing nothing but stare at the wall, he placed his hat over his face, leaned back in his chair, and attempted to fall asleep. The constant noise of other equally bored people talking amongst each other made this quite an endeavor.


Sitting beside him was a seemingly average girl clutching a very large teddy bear. Unlike the others, she actually decided to dress for the bitterly cold weather; she wore her favourite long, cream coloured coat. She wasn't as frustrated as the person beside her, and smiled serenely as she buried her nose into the bear, breathing deeply and heavily.


The last of the people waiting was fast asleep already. At sixteen years old, he was the youngest amongst his circle of friends, but was always treated equally, despite numerous jokes made at his expense by the very same companions. In his left hand he tightly held a half eaten submarine sandwich. And an empty pop bottle sat on the arm of the chair he was sitting in. Every moment or two, his free hand moved up unconsciously to scratch his nose for no reason apparent to the people around him.


A very generic voice, probably pre-recorded, sounded over the intercom, announcing the arrival and departure of several buses.


“Bus number 1251 coming from the Kamloops station, on the Halifax to Vancouver route, has arrived in docking bay 4. All those whose stop is in Chilliwack, please disembark, otherwise stay on board for the five minute stop. Thank you for choosing Greyhound.”


The bus in question was the one that the fourth of the companions was scheduled to arrive on.


Edward, the black shirted teen trying unsuccessfully to sleep, sat up lazily at the sound of the intercom, and put his hat back on his head before tapping on the shoulder of the girl beside him to get her attention.


“Jessi! Mal's here, so get up!” he said tiredly to the girl, his words making her look up from the stuffed animal in her grasp.


She put one arm around the bear and clasped Ed's hand with her free hand. The two looked over at Ralph who had, to their surprise, already woken up, put his pop in the recycling bin, and wiped the orange mustard stains off his sweater.


With all of them somewhat awake and ready, they passed through the glass door into the bus docking area behind the Greyhound depot. The air was uncomfortably chilly, and the wind was noticeably strong, causing Ed to shiver. Just as they fumbled through the darkness to docking bay 4, the passengers of the bus their friend was on began disembarking.


When almost all of the other people had gotten off of the bus, Mal stepped out of the door, lugging around a heavy backpack with both hands. He was easily recognized by his friends, as he still had the same short black hair and tan khakis that they remembered. Nothing had changed.


Jessi ran at him, her arms outstretched, almost knocking him back into the bus with a tackle hug. Ralph nonchalantly took Mal's suitcase from the storage compartment under the bus, and handed it to its owner, managing a slight smile.


Malcolm let go of Jessi, and the four companions stepped out of the path of the other people passing by. Immediately after they had done so, they began talking, just like old times.


“So, Mal, how was Italy? You were there a whole year, you must have seen something interesting. It was Italy, after all! Tell us all about it.” Ed asked enthusiastically, glad to see his best friend after such a long time.


Malcolm began his rundown of his trip, telling them of the sights and of his exploits during his stay. The vacation was actually a student exchange program at the University of Victoria, where Mal attended. Unfortunately, none of the friends ever got to meet the person Malcolm exchanged with.


He told them of his visit to Florence, Venice, and Naples. They listened intently as he went on about the plays he had seen, the museums he visited, and the monuments he toured. During his explanation, he took out pictures of the places in question.


“So,” he said, ending his story. “What's new with you guys?”


Ed spoke first, and explained, “Well, uh, as you can see, I finally asked Jessi out. I got her that teddy bear as a gift.” As he spoke, he pointed to the stuffed animal Jessi was still holding, and she grinned, an ear to ear smile of pure bliss.


“So, you asked my little sister out after all this time. Good job, man. She quite... er, she's quite the enthusiastic girl.” Malcolm replied, genuinely glad that his younger sister was happy, and with his friend, no less.


Ralph shrugged. “All's the same with me. I'm kinda losing weight. It's not working that well, though. I'm pretty much the same lazy old Ralph you remember.”


Malcolm smiled. 'All's the same indeed. Still the same good people I know.' he thought contentedly.


Their conversation finished, they walked back through the bus depot into the front parking lot, where Ed's fancy black car was waiting. They all piled in, and they headed to his house, with Malcolm driving.


“Hey, Mal,” Ed began, remembering something he wanted to say earlier. “Once I've graduated high school, my parents are going to give me the house! They'll be moving up north to live closer to the rest of my family, so they'll be fine.”


“That's cool.” Mal replied, not having much to say. “You're a lucky guy to have such rich parents. It makes me kinda jealous.”


It was true. Ed's had been mostly paid for by his parents, and they helped him get a high-paying part-time job. They were both major people in the business world, but Ed didn't want to follow in their footsteps. He didn't let himself become a pampered, spoiled kid, and insisted on buying most of the things he had with his own money.


The talking died down, and Mal turned on the car's radio. To them, there was nothing like the sound of rock 'n' roll while driving. To their dismay, the pleasant sound was suddenly cut short by a radio broadcast that they honestly didn't care about.


Before Mal turned off the radio in favour of the CD player, they heard something about expanding ice caps on the surrounding mountains that, in the future, could melt and heavily flood the area...


-----------------------------------




Chapter V


Ed and Jessi stood silently, not moving. The silence was broken when Ralph stepped into the room, holding a familiar shotgun. Jessi saw this in the corner of her eye, and roughly wrestled the gun out of his hands. She made sure the hammer was half-cocked so that it wouldn't fire, and gripped her shotgun tightly as she glared at Ralph.


“I didn't know you guys had a gun! Where'd you get it?” Ralph asked timidly, not wanting to aggravate the gunslinging girl any further.


“It's from my dad. Don't touch it.” Jessi replied, sharply yet forlornly, and emphasizing the 'don't'.


Suddenly Ralph realized why she was so touchy about the weapon. “Oh, er, um... I forgot that your dad died. I'm... sorry.”


He was backing out of the living room when he bumped into Mal, who was in the hallway behind him. In his hands were several plastic bags, some holding food, others holding books and tools. Seeing that Malcolm was making an effort to gather supplies, Ralph trudged away into the kitchen, and Ed went to the master bedroom.


In that room, books lined half of one wall on a series of large bookshelves, all organized neatly and alphabetically according to book title. On another, smaller shelf were DVDs and video games of various genres, sorted similarly to the books. Ed ignored all of that and opened the wide closet across from the queen-sized bed on the far side of the room. Inside were dozens of papers, books and pictures. All had one central theme: the survival of a zombie apocalypse.


Ed grabbed one important part of the collection, a guide on surviving the situation he and his friends were were in. Other than that, he took all of the boxes of shotgun shells that he could, which was a considerable amount, and slung Jessi's bandolier and ammunition belt over his shoulder. He heard the sound of the dryer in the laundry room turning on, and opted to see what everyone else was doing.


In the kitchen, Jessi was satisfying Ralph's interest in her shotgun by explaining its mechanics and history. She still didn't allow him to touch it, though, and kept a close eye on it whenever she set it down.


“This is a Winchester model 1897 pump-action shotgun, trench gun variant. It was originally owned by my great-great grandfather, who fought late in World War One. He passed it down through the family, from father to son, until I got it. I'm the first girl to have it, probably because I actually showed interest in guns, unlike Mal over there. But that's a different story. Let me show you how it works.:


Jessi placed one hand on the pumping handle, and the other in a conventional firing position in the trigger guard, her index finger extended so that she wouldn't accidentally squeeze the trigger.


“It's loaded with snap caps right now, so I'll show explain the firing mechanism.” she continued, bringing the hammer down to a fully cocked position.


She slowly brought the pump handle back, and a snap cap was brought from the tube magazine and set in place. At the same pace, she pushed the slide forward, bringing the shell in line with the barrel and into the firing chamber, ready for the trigger to be squeezed. She did so, and a snap was heard as the hammer hit the firing pin of the snap cap. Since the shell wasn't actually a live round, and was designed for operations like this, nothing else happened. Faster now, she again pulled the handle back, ejecting the old shell, then forward, loading a new one.


Bringing the hammer back to its previous half-cocked setting, she slung the Winchester over her shoulder, onto her back, and tightened the strap so that it fit tightly yet comfortably. Ralph, his curiosity satisfied from the lesson, returned to scavenging from the fridge and pantry in the kitchen. Jessi made sure he didn't eat much of the food he took, then left to find Ed.


“So, are we ready to get going now?” she asked as she stocked the boxes of shotgun shells in her backpack, loaded up her bandolier, and put both on, along with her ammunition belt.


“Mal's just gotta get some stuff ready, then we'll start heading for Abbotsford. It shouldn't be too long. Oh, I think our socks and shoes should be ready by then.”


Jessi caught the clumsy illogic in his last sentence, but dud not tell him, only giggling softly to herself, causing Ed to take on an expression of honest confusion. His eyebrow raised, he shrugged his shoulders, then went to check the dryer.


The rapid pit-patter of the rain had slowed and stopped, and the mechanical rumble from the laundry room had been silenced.


“Hey, guys! It stopped raining!” came Ralph's voice form the kitchen. Malcolm's head was seen bobbing out from the bathroom to see if this news was true. When he confirmed that the rain had stopped pouring down, he set his backpack down beside the front door and waited patiently for his friends.


Eventually all four people were gathered in the dining room right in front of the door, standing around the round wooden dinner table. Ed made sure that everyone knew what the general plan was in regards to survival and their destination, and they put on their backpacks and headed outside in orderly single file.


Ed patted his pockets, and noticed that something was missing.


“Ah! My keys! Can't forget those...” he said, mostly to himself, as he rushed back into the house and grabbed the dull, brassy object dangling from its perch on the kitchen counter. He also made sure that the front door was locked on his way out, twisting it multiple times to be certain that it couldn't be opened easily. When questioned on the subject by Malcolm, he simply answered, “You never know!” and continued walking with the rest of his friends down the street. They had truly begun their journey for survival in this apocalyptic world.


For some reason, the zombies were very few in number and spread out widely along the residential streets. They wondered why, coming to the conclusion that the flood shelters and larger cities were drawing the attention of the hordes of undead. No matter, as a confrontation with zombies, although it would be exciting, would simply waste time.


Another issue rose to shatter the relative calm, however. It was simply a question at first, posed by none other than Ralph.


“What about our families?” My parents are back at the school. Aren't we going to help them?”


Ed sighed. “We can't. What would we do with them? They'd be safest in the high school. We can't afford to take care of people who are likely in a safer place already. It would also be a burden on us. The more people we bring with us, the more supplies we need, increasing exponentially. We already have enough right now. Also, my parents and siblings are up north, in Prince George. They're fine right now, I bet.”


Ralph grumbled out an unintelligible string of words, with his characteristic nervous “Er, um...” beginning the statement.


Mal nodded, agreeing with Ed's judgment. “I have to admit, Ed's right. If we found some people that were in direct threat from the zombies, if they were under attack, we'd help them. But, as he said, we can't carry around, er, dead weight. Anyone who can follow us has to be good with weapons, or have some other useful skills. I'm sorry, but it's what has to be done. But don't look so glum now, this is what we've been dreaming of for years: a zombie apocalypse, where we can do whatever we want, and fight zombies! Enjoy it, at least.” he told Ralph.


In a simple response, Ralph shrugged and voiced his half-hearted agreement. They had to survive, and also enjoy the experience.


It was what they had dreamed of for years.


----------------------------



Yeah, the setting will change around quite a bit. If you're wondering about the rather short chapters lately, well, the next few I have to type out are much longer. To be precise, chapters 9 and 10 are about 5000 words or so each, last I checked. Read and enjoy!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------



"The scoreboard looks like baseball, the start looks like bowling, and the rest looks like cleaning the kitchen floors." - rustyspring on curling

"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Five_X

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Fan of : Rico!

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Re: Five_X's Novel: Dead Earth

Post by Five_X on Tue 27 Apr 2010 - 1:41

New chapter, finally!





Chapter VI


Jack MacKay stood in the middle of the road, staring at the destruction wrought by the sudden outbreak of the undead. Abbotsford hadn't flooded as badly as Chilliwack had, but the general havoc was far greater.


The windows of the buildings that lined the streets were smashed in, cars were strewn about like scrap metal toys, and the bodies. So many bodies. The corpses that had not risen up were scattered about, some likely to reanimate as the undead at any time. The whole scene in front of Jack's eyes was like a photograph, a snapshot of only some of the carnage rife in the city. He could see what appeared to be human cadavers, burned and mutilated beyond recognition. The reek of hot, decaying flesh riddled the air, thoroughly sickening Jack. His airport security uniform was torn up from the rough escape to the suburbs of Abbotsford, and his only weapon, a handgun pilfered from the remains of an unlucky police officer who was crushed up against the brick wall of a building by a huge sixteen-wheeled truck, was almost out of ammunition. An attempt at finding the local police station was out of the question.


People hadn't been evacuated to flood shelters here, and the zombies had free reign to do whatever they pleased. Being the mindless creatures they were, the hundreds of walking dead wandered the city, spreading their infection through savage bites on humans.


But Jack had no more time to contemplate. The zombies, their collective growls attracting even more of their kind, slowly meandered toward the lone survivor. He had to move quickly, lest he be surrounded and devoured.


There were several houses and a few stores in close proximity to him that appeared to be safe and defensible. One in particular, a relatively untouched Burger King, seemed like the best choice, as it had a flat, easily accessible roof. The plate glass doors were wide open, beckoning for him to enter. And so he did, making sure to close them as he stepped into the fast food restaurant.


The unsettling miasma of the outdoor destruction was dulled in the perceived sanctity of the building, but not gone. It took only a glance out the clear window of his pristine environment for Jack to regain an urgent mindset.


No time to waste, he vaulted over the black service counter into the kitchens. He silenced his footsteps to the best of his ability, and he breathed slowly and quietly. His nearly empty pistol was in its holster on his belt. Jack couldn't afford to make any noise that would attract zombies. Though the creatures had poor eyesight, their hearing and smelling abilities were heightened due to increased dependence on those particular senses.


In the rearmost room of the Burger King, Jack spotted a hatch on the ceiling that likely led to the roof. Although there was probably a ladder in a nearby storage closet, Jack decided to scale the ceiling-height shelves that were just close enough to the hatch for him to get through to the the roof from the top level of the sturdy steel shelf.


With one foot on the bottom level, he grabbed part of the shelf a metre or so below the top. With his considerable upper body strength, Jack hoisted himself upwards. The hatch was just one long foot away. As he reached out and clutched tightly onto the handle of the small opening, he lost his balance, and the shelf he was partially crouched on heaved and swayed, eventually falling forward and taking Jack down with it.


The egress in the ceiling was now open, but the fall had taken Jack to the floor and deprived him of an easily accessible means of getting to the roof hatch. Potentially worse, the contents of the shelf, mainly pots and pans and dishes, had crashed onto the floor, making a huge ruckus, enough to wake the dead, as it were.


And so it did. Though faint at first, Jack began to hear the characteristic moaning of approaching undead. And he knew that where there was one zombie that sensed human flesh, there were bound to be many more to come.


Jack hurried to the storage closet he spotted earlier, which was in the same room as the roof hatch. As suspected, there was a large ladder standing upright, ready to be claimed. Jack gripped it and maneuvered it out of the tight space it was in to position it underneath the opening in the ceiling. As he did so, a sharp smash, like the sound of shattering glass, reverberated from the main area of the restaurant. The guttural groans continued.


Rushing up the ladder rung by rung like an ape, Jack pulled himself up through the hatch onto the roof. It was covered in plain black asphalt, and had a one foot tall barrier around the edges. Jack walked over to the section of the roof overlooking the main entrance and parking lot, and saw almost thirty zombies crowded around the busted-open front doors. More were likely inside the building already.


Seven bullets, thirty zombies, Luck wasn't on Jack side this day, it seemed. The only other weapons he had were hist fists and a standard household use hammer. Although he knew he was skilled in unarmed combat, engaging in a close quarters fight with a foe that wanted to latch onto him was not the most intelligent strategy. There was just one way to stop this group, and even it was a somewhat flimsy plan.


Jack slid down the ladder back into the restaurant storage room, and slammed the door shut. A bad idea, Jack thought a moment later. The sound would call the zombies, and they could knock the door down relatively quickly. Regardless, he gathered up all of the heavy or sharp objects he could find, and began carting them up onto the rooftop. After a few trips, he heard dull banging on the grey metal door that separated him from the undead. The door was locked, but it wouldn't hold out for too long. Once Jack had collected all of the supplies he needed, he barred the door shut with a shelf and kicked down the ladder as soon as he was safely on the roof. He doubted the zombies could climb ladders, but it was a good precaution.


Once again, he walked to the area overlooking the main entrance, and threw a frying pan hard at a hapless zombie, making a loud clang when it struck its head and when it clattered on the ground. After he threw another a few seconds later, the thumping on the storage room door ceased, and more moaning took its place. Jack's plan had so far been successful.


The wait for the reasonably slow creatures to shamble to the front doors was considerable, but worth the effort. Most if not all of the undead had stumbled into the line of fire of his frying pans and pots and kitchen knives and cash registers. The sheer blunt trauma from a simple cash register was enough to fell a zombie instantly. Five were dispatched this way, but there weren't too many cash registers in the restaurant, not even in storage. Some of the zombies took two or more hits to the cranium to go down, but it didn't matter as long as the numbers of the living dead were lessened.


Unfortunately, Jack saw four more figures in the distance, approaching his defense position. He shot haphazardly at the creatures once but missed. The closest zombies were the main problem at the moment. A few thrown knives penetrated the skull of another ghoul, dropping it to the ground.


He only managed to kill another two members of the undead before the previously distant figures became closer. Much to his surprise, he heard a gunshot coming from that general direction. Was there another survivor nearby, one with a gun? That notion was altered when the zombies gathered around the entrance to the Burger King began to fall down dead, with large portions of their skulls being blown off with each successive gunshot.


Upon closer inspection, the four figures didn't appear to be undead at all. One of them, with a long cream coloured coat and shoulder length hair was wielding a shotgun, the likely source of the shots. Jack recognized the model of firearm. It was a classic Winchester 1897 trench shotgun.


His attention back on the zombies, he threw down a few more pans before deciding that their numbers were thin enough to attack with his hammer. Jack jumped off of the roof, and landed in grass with a cushioning roll.






A/N: Yes, this chapter isn't too exciting, but it does introduce a new character. Yay! The next chapter will have their introduction, of course. It will be mostly talking.

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"The scoreboard looks like baseball, the start looks like bowling, and the rest looks like cleaning the kitchen floors." - rustyspring on curling

"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Five_X

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